Duration: 46'

Year of release: 2014

Country: Italy

Directors: Massimiliano Pantucci

Production: Massimiliano Pantucci

About the Movie

The documentary film In the City draws attention to the huge social gaps in Milan, underlined by extreme differences in living conditions of its inhabitants. The director Massimiliano Pantucci follows the evolution of a social project from its beginnings to the Municipal Elections in 2011.

The Polis Project

Polis is a project intended to favour the reintegration of the eastern outskirts of the city. There are especially three areas in which significantly lower living conditions can be observed. These are the Molise, Calvairate and Ponti. Especially relevant is the fact that in these areas only one company owns the biggest portion of social housings. Here socially endangered individuals and entire families struggle on an everyday basis.

Rivalries among neighbours

Rivalries between inhabitants of the area accompany the harsh living conditions. While some of the long-time locals tend to blame immigrants and other individuals for the precarious, others fight for improving the situation. But to make things worse, a contract with which regional authorities in 2003 assigned 140 million euros to the area didn’t bring many results over time, reinforcing mistrustful feelings and isolation.

Political context

The director chose a time frame that serves as a stage on which also the local authorities can make their appearance. Since shortly before the Elections in 2011 the interest in the area grew bigger, some of the representatives started appearing on the meetings of the neighbours’ committee, appearing on the streets with flyers etc. But while the city of Milan, the Italian fashion capital, had been working hard to preserve its image and prepare for the EXPO 2015, in the working-class area Molise-Calvairate-Ponti the situation remained very difficult and in some cases even extreme.


Nevertheless, the Polis project found its way to bring at least some positive results. However, starting the project wasn't easy in such climate and many individuals struggled with it. The movie observes such struggles of the Molise-Calvairate-Ponti Citizen Committee involved in promoting the project and organising events and activities aimed to rebuild trust inside the community. In the City brings opinions of all interested parties in front of the lens, letting individuals express their hopes and critiques and, consequently, create a picture of the in-loco situation by themselves. The documentary presents both intercultural relations and a xenophobic tradition without any obstructive narration.